How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, poached, boiled, fried over-easy or sunny side up? Green with a side of ham? How about pink, purple, blue, yellow, gold-glazed, tie dye, or even beaded?
At this time of year, we long for spring and all it has to offer, not the least of which is a holiday many of us celebrate – Easter. Although it appears rather late on our calendar this year, it is not too early to start preparing for this sweet occasion.
For many years, we have traveled to the States to stay with friends over Easter. Every year, we pack our bags and happily head south to experience Easter at the Jamieson residence. My best friend, Alison, is a party planner extraordinaire and any event hosted by her is an experience to behold. Easter is huge in the States and it is Alison who inspired me to start decorating for Easter as I do for Halloween and Christmas.
While I don’t go full out each year as we are usually not home to celebrate Easter (the odd year being an exception), I’ve decided to pay a little extra attention to it this year. The late calendar date offers more time to decorate and this lingering winter has us begging for a touch of spring. What’s more spring-like than bunnies, chicks, flowers and of course, Easter eggs?
While decorating eggs for Easter is not a terribly difficult craft, sometimes I think we dismiss these easy projects too readily due to their simplicity. Yet they can offer a colourful impact, not to mention the fun you’ll have doing it.
There are many ways to decorate eggs and many types of eggs to decorate. If you wish to keep your eggs for years to come, you might want to use wooden, plastic, or styrofoam eggs. If you like the idea of creating new little treasures each year for very little money, try using real eggs. You can hard boil them. or very carefully blow the yoke and whites out of raw eggs, keeping just the shell to decorate. While these shells will keep longer than hard boiled eggs, they are also very fragile and prone to breakage. Hard boiled eggs are easier to decorate and demand less skill and time than is required to prepare empty shells.
Almost any technique which can be used on wooden, plastic, or styrofoam eggs can be applied to real eggs. However, as hard boiled must be disposed of eventually, it is better to use more expensive decorating techniques on fake eggs, which can be enjoyed for years to come.
Dying eggs is a tradition in our house and can only be done with real eggs. There are plenty of kits out there and if you follow the instructions, you can create your own colourful eggs to add to your Easter décor.
Tips for Dying Eggs
- Don’t use raw eggs – unless you are blowing out the contents. The eggs must be hard boiled – I know this seems obvious, but sometimes it still needs to be said.
- Use white eggs, as the colours won’t work well on brown.
- Purchase eggs in cardboard cartons, not Styrofoam. First of all, they are more environmentally friendly. Second they double as great absorbent trays to hold your drying eggs.
- If you want uniform colour, wash eggs with soap and water before dying. Personally I like the colour variation so I tend to skip this step – it’s personal preference.
- Make sure you completely dissolve the colour tablets (provided in the kits) in water in your dipping pots before you dip the eggs, otherwise, you’ll end up with hot spots of concentrated colour on the egg.
- If you prefer brighter, more saturated colour, add approx. 1 tsp. of white vinegar to the dye solution.
- Ensure that you have enough water in your dipping pots to completely cover the egg when submerged or you will end up with a ring around the unexposed part of the egg. If you don’t have enough liquid, be sure to continue to roll the egg in the dye solution to achieve a more even colour.
- Don’t be afraid to double dip your eggs to create new colours, for example dipping in green and then immediately in blue will produce a beautiful aqua coloured egg.
- To achieve a graduated colour effect on the egg, try dipping once thoroughly then dip several more times, each time submerging less off the egg in the dye. This technique is also great to use with two different colours.
- To add a pattern to your egg, try drawing on the white egg with a clear wax crayon before dipping. The wax prevents the dye from absorbing into the shell, leaving the area white after dying.
Tips for Painting Eggs:
- Be sure to dry eggs on an egg tray with raised bumps or beads to reduce the area of the egg in contact with another surface while drying.
- If using a gold glazing kit, be aware that should you choose to add a colour tint to the glaze, the resulting colour will be affected by the yellow tones of the gold. For example, adding blue to a gold glaze will not produce a blue egg, but rather an aqua or green egg. Basic colour theory!
- When painting styrofoam eggs, insert wire into the bottom of the egg to hold the egg. Using a styrofoam block as a drying base, insert the other end of the wire into the foam base to hold eggs as they dry.
- To create a speckled effect on painted eggs, use a tooth brush with diluted brown paint. Dip the bristles in the diluted paint and, using your thumb, pull across the bristles to create fine spray or splatters over eggs.
Other Ideas for eggs:
- Try gluing beads on painted or dyed eggs, or painting patterns with glue on the egg and then adding sparkle or glitter.
- Glue ribbon on the egg either in bands around the egg or completely covering the surface.
- Cover the egg with glue and wrap a colourful yarn around the egg for a more rustic, homespun look.
- To create a hanging ornament, glue a ribbon loop to the top of a decorated, faux egg. You can disguise the glue spot where the loop attaches to the egg with decorative details such as sequins or beads.
Decorating Easter eggs is an easy and creative way to add to your holiday décor. There are many techniques you can use; you are limited only by your imagination. So get cracking and add some spring to your day with some Easter Eggscellence!
P.S. Remember to wear gloves or you can expect this…
All Eggs and Photos by Lyndsay Jenkinson